The Experiments Back Then
Annelotte's expression was a little weird. She knew Alfreid's surname was Rolin, but who was Willis and what did he have to do with Alfreid? Why did Leguna ask about it?
"Well, the thing is…" Leguna briefed her when he noticed her puzzlement.
"What does this have to do with me?" she asked.
Leguna didn't know to react and raised his hands in surrender. Whatever you say! He turned to Myr and asked, "Grandmaster Myr, you had studied in the Stokian magic academy before for a time, right? I wonder if you can tell me about that person."
Myr wore a complex expression. He looked at Annelotte and sighed. "Actually, this matter has been made taboo by His Imperial Majesty."
From the sound of it, it would be quite troublesome for him to ask about the matter.
"Whatever, it's for Annie's sake, so I don't mind telling you. It's only an old tale anyway," Myr decided.
"Thank you, Grandmaster."
Leguna began to feel that Alfreid was more than a dangerous character. If he could understand even a little bit more about that man, it would definitely be to his advantage.
"Well, as you've no doubt predicted, Willis Rolin is the same person as Alfreid Rolin!"
"I knew it!"
Leguna jumped with certainty immediately. Willis was Alfreid after all! In that sense, there was a great chance the one behind Annelotte's amnesia was him!
After all, he was on Geoffrey's side and Annelotte was a great help for Leguna. Coupled with the fact that Leguna and Geoffrey didn't get long famously, Alfreid would have a reason to plot against Annelotte.
Leguna didn't hide it and came clean with his suspicions. He trusted Myr quite a lot and didn't hold any reservations about speaking to him about it.
"However, it would be impossible for him to be behind this attack," Myr said after calmly letting Leguna finish.
If Alfreid used to be a student in the Stokian magic academy, then he definitely had a talent for learning magic! Yet, he was to believe that Alfreid didn't know any magic now?
"Kid…" Myr said after some hesitation, "I believe you know about how Alfreid, then called Willis, had joined a human experiment since you've read so deep into this, right?"
"Yeah, I did."
Leguna was far too tired by the time he got to that part last night, so he only gave it a rough read. He wasn't too sure about what happened after that.
"The whole thing began during that experiment," Myr said with a grave expression, "The young Alfreid was a rare magic genius back then. At the very least, he was far more talented than me. But alas… It's such a shame…"
"What in the world happened?"
Even Annelotte couldn't resist asking when she saw Myr's strong hesitation.
"Alfreid's a rare genius, and he should be roughly on par with you, Annie, in terms of magic usage and knowledge."
"He's really that amazing?"
Leguna shuddered at the thought. He knew how strong Annelotte really was. She could even completely overpower Saron, a twin gifted. Even if Alfreid was weaker than Annelotte, he would definitely be able to defeat Leguna if they were on the same stratum. Additionally, his craftiness was exceedingly dangerous and made him hard to deal with.
"That's right--" Myr nodded. "--Back then in the Stokian academy, Willis Rolin was a really famous and talented individual there. But the Stokian officials believed he had a flaw."
"Yes. That referred to his lack of gifts."
"How does that count as a flaw?"
Leguna was taken aback. Gifts were innate abilities granted since birth. How could something out of people's control like that be considered a flaw? Not to mention, people without gifts were the large majority. Were they all 'flawed' too by that measure?
"Back then, the Stokian magic academy wasn't as corrupt as it is now. They sought out talent from all over and helped the gifted awaken their gifts," Myr explained, "During that era, the academy managed to gather more than ten gifted. While some of them had their powers awakened using drugs and were pitifully weak, they were still gifts, additional trump cards that could greatly even the odds."
"So, Alfreid wasn't happy that he wasn't gifted?" Leguna guessed.
"No, it wasn't only him. The whole of Stok was as dissatisfied as he was about it."
"Back then, the magic academy had a total combat ranking board for the students. Only two of the top ten are not gifted," Myr said, "One of them was me. I only barely made it into the tenth place. Willis, on the other hand, was ranked second."
"So, the staff of the academy reasoned that if Alfreid could be made a gifted, he would be even stronger?" Annelotte guessed.
"That was exactly the case. That's why the academy ran an experiment. They would attempt to transfer the gifts of someone in the top twenty to Alfreid, number two."
Leguna couldn't help but grit his teeth with anger. Even the cold and aloof Annelotte was angered by what she heard.
As gifted, they felt sympathy for their kind. While gifts were widely hailed to be powers to be jealous about, only those who experienced it for themselves would understand that with the power also came great suffering and pain.
The penalties for using Host of Darkness was the most obvious. Needless to say, Annelotte's Host of Glacier and Saron's Host of Flame's side effects wouldn't be light either.
Not only that, gifted like Leguna had to endure the envy and enmity of others. For instance, even Kurdak, his brotherly figure, would feel a certain degree of unfairness at the sight of his rapid growth, to say no more about people who didn't know him well.
That was why apart from whackjobs like Saron, the gifted knew what others of their kind really had to go through. They simply weren't too obstinate to realize the good hand they were dealt in life; they had legitimately been isolated to some degree due to the divide between them and normal folk.
And now they had to hear about another gifted being experimented on. So how would the experiment be carried out? It was said that the core of the gifted's powers lied in the elemental essence deep within their brains. There was only one way to transfer the powers over.
"That's right," Myr said, "They are scum. I heard that the experimenters simply cracked open that poor child's head to extract the elemental essence."
"What happened then? Did the experiment fail?"
"Yes," Myr said with a cold laugh, probably mocking the cruelty of the empire or Alfreid's greed, "Back then, Willis' diatagi collapsed during the experiment. Since then, he lost all ability to wield magic power."
"Are you certain? Did he really lose the ability to use any spell?"
"Of course--" Myr rolled his eyes in annoyance. "--That fellow used to be Duke Mellin's informant back then. Initially the late emperor, Hector, had been planning to raise him as the strongest trump card he had. He didn't expect that the experiment would go haywire and cause Willis to lose his magic. However, Willis showed extraordinary leadership capabilities, so Hector let him serve as a normal official. He changed his name to Alfreid from them on and reached where he is today after years of hard work."
"But, Grandmaster Myr," Annelotte said, "If his diatagi collapsed, how did he survive? It's quite obvious how serious the consequences of that would be from my damaged diatagi."
"I'm not too sure about that either," Myr said, "But I'd done an extensive analysis before and his diatagi had, in fact, turned into a chaotic mush. It's completely different from ours."
Since even Myr didn't have an answer for him, the matter would be even harder to uncover. He couldn't just ask Alfreid about it, after all.
"That's basically how it happened," Myr said with a shrug, indicating that he had said all he had.
"I guess this really doesn't have anything to do with Alfreid, then.--" Leguna bowed deeply. "--Thank you for being so open with me about this."
"Alright!--" Myr waved Leguna off. "--I'm only telling you this so that you can better protect Annie. Now if that's all there is, I have to get to my experiment!"
"Alright." Leguna glanced at Annelotte before saying, "Then I shall take my leave."Previous Chapter Next Chapter